Arbuscular mycorrhizae improves photosynthesis and water status of Zea mays L. under drought stress

https://doi.org/10.17221/23/2011-PSECitation:Zhu X.C., Song F.B., Liu S.Q., Liu T.D., Zhou X. (2012):   Arbuscular mycorrhizae improves photosynthesis and water status of Zea mays L. under drought stress. Plant Soil Environ., 58: 186-191.
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The influences of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus on growth, gas exchange, chlorophyll concentration, chlorophyll fluorescence and water status of maize (Zea mays L.) plants were studied in pot culture under well-watered and drought stress conditions. The maize plants were grown in a sand and black soil mixture for 4 weeks, and then exposed to drought stress for 4 weeks. Drought stress significantly decreased AM colonization and total dry weight. AM symbioses notably enhanced net photosynthetic rate and transpiration rate, but decreased intercellular CO2 concentration of maize plants regardless of water treatments. Mycorrhizal plants had higher stomatal conductance than non-mycorrhizal plants under drought stress. The concentrations of chlorophyll were higher in mycorrhizal than non-mycorrhizal plants under drought stress. AM colonization significantly increased maximal fluorescence, maximum quantum efficiency of PSII photochemistry and potential photochemical efficiency, but decreased primary fluorescence under well-watered and droughted conditions. Mycorrhizal maize plants had higher relative water content and water use efficiency under drought stress compared with non-mycorrhizal plants. The results indicated that AM symbiosis alleviates the toxic effect of drought stress via improving photosynthesis and water status of maize plants.  
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